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Maharashtra crisis: Uddhav Thackeray may resign before floor test, say sources

Thackeray has been asked by the governor to prove his majority in the state assembly by June 30. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government has moved the Supreme Court to seek a stay, citing the disqualification petitions pending against the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.

June 29, 2022 / 09:47 PM IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (File image)

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (File image)

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray may resign before the floor test if the Maha Vikas Aghadi government fails to get relief from the Supreme Court, sources said on June 29.

Thackeray has informed his cabinet colleagues about the decision to step down if the apex court refuses to rule in the government's favour on the plea that challenges the governor's floor test call, the sources claimed.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, earlier today, directed the chief minister to prove his majority in the assembly on June 30. This came a day after he met the Leader of Opposition, Devendra Fadnavis, who requested him to call for a floor test at the earliest.

Thackeray, according to the sources, gave a farewell sort of speech during the cabinet meeting today, which was called to approve the renaming of Auranagabad to Sambhaji Nagar and Osmanabad to Dharashiv - both long-pending demands of Shiv Sena.

The chief minister thanked all the ministers for the support over the past two-and-a-half years, since when he has been presiding over the state government, they said.

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Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Sunil Kedar, who spoke to reporters following the cabinet meeting, praised Thackeray for his efforts in leading the the three-party coalition government.

"Uddhav Thackeray had no prior administrative experience, but he effectively tackled the coronavirus pandemic. He recently underwent a critical surgery. Who has started working within a month of undergoing a  spinal surgery? Give me one name. This man did that. Even the prime minister told him that he showed strength," news agency ANI quoted Kedar as saying.

The Maha Vikas Ahadi government had, earlier in the day, moved the Supreme Court against the governor's directive for a floor test, as it pointed out that disqualification notices have been issued to 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.

The action against the Sena rebels, based on the disqualification notices, was stayed by the Supreme Court earlier this week till July 12.

The apex court, by the time this report was published, was yet to decide on the government's plea against the governor's floor test directive.

While the legal proceedings were underway, reports claimed that around 40 Shiv Sena rebel MLAs, who have been camping in Guwahati, in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Assam, have boarded a plane to Goa, the BJP-ruled coastal state located next to Maharashtra.

The political crisis in Maharashtra had erupted on June 20, after more than a dozen legislators of the Sena moved to Surat, in the BJP-ruled Gujarat, and turned incommunicado. As their numbers grew, they were shifted to Guwahati.

According to Sena leader and state minister Eknath Shinde, who is leading the rebel camp, around 40 out of the party's 55 MLAs have sided with him.

In the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, the halfway majority mark stands at 145. Sena (55), NCP (53) and Congress (44) are currently in power, with a total of 155 MLAs. However, with rebellion hitting the Sena ranks, the government may end up losing the floor test, analysts claim.
Gulam Jeelani is a journalist with over 12 years of reporting experience. Based in New Delhi, he covers politics and governance for Moneycontrol.
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